When you get divorced and you have children, you and your former spouse will have to agree on a custody arrangement. Even if one of you has primary custody, the other parent will almost always have certain visitation rights unless they present a risk of harm to the child. If you share custody or visitation with the other parent, it can cause complications if you need or want to relocate far enough away that it will disrupt the agreed-upon schedule.
It is critical to know that a parent who shares custody does not have the right to simply pick up and move their child away from the other parent. Doing so can result in significant civil or even criminal penalties, depending on the circumstances. Instead, a parent who wishes to relocate must request permission to do so.
The first step will be to ask the other parent for consent to move away. If parents cooperate or if one parent does not play a huge role in the child’s life, you may be able to get consent to move. In addition, with technological advancements, it can be a lot easier for a parent to maintain a quality relationship with a child even from long distances. If you do get consent, however, you will have to update the custody agreement to include long-distance visits, which may be for an entire summer or other breaks from school.
If the other parent refuses to consent to the move, you must file to get permission from the courts. Courts will consider many factors when deciding whether or not to allow a parent to relocate with a child, including the following:
- Whether you have a good faith reason for moving (and are not moving solely to separate your child from the other parent)
- The nature of the relationship between the child and the other parent
- The preference of the child if they are old and mature enough
- Any other factors the court deems relevant to the best interests of the child
Call a New Jersey Family Law Attorney for a Consultation Today
Whether you want to relocate with your child or want to keep your child near you, an experienced family lawyer at the Law Offices of Steven H. Fleischer, LLC can help. We fully understand the family court system and custody laws in New Jersey and will provide representation you can depend on. Please call today at 908-231-0052 to schedule your free consultation today.